Parading Into Town
IC date: Summer 44, 1007
OOC date: August 3, 2012
PCs: Amber-Shot, Emberlocks, Lorelei, Mad-Mare, Shiroyuki-Hanako, Quilltip
NPCs:
GM: None

Today is a special day. Not only is it a glorious summer's day, but it's the day a certain newly-appointed Watch Captain has chosen to unveil to the lucky citizens of Horseshoe Harbor their new SUPREME RULER!

…That is, new Mayor!

The Mad Mare of the Syndicolt, whom for some time now has been moving behind the Harbor's scenes, replacing guards and advisors and everypony important she can get her hooves on with special select /trusted/ individuals. And now all of her players are in place… So today is special.

Today, Maddie has organized a brief parade to celebrate the new Mayor. A very small parade, consisting of maybe ten ponies, and a fancy-ish platform several of those ponies are carrying around, upon which Maddie has arranged for Lorelei to stand, in the closest outfit she could find to Salty's old 'mayorial' duds. Thus they've been tromping through the streets to show off, with the Mad Mare herself out in front, making the general announcement. "Make way! Make way for the Mayor of Horseshoe Harbor! Make way for Mayor Lorelei! Pay your respects, ponies, and get to know the new boss in town!"

Lorelei has indeed spent the parade standing on the platform, trying to hold herself up tall — luckily, a dignified pose comes somewhat naturally to her — and waving when the situation calls for it. Winning smiles, nods, waves, look mayor-ly and proper. She's not entirely used to being the center of attention, but that certainly doesn't mean she doesn't like it!

A yellow pony who has somehow managed to still not be introduced is on his way into town for his shift at the Champagne Bay when his route is interrupted by an impromptu parade. "Huh. That's the new mayor? The regulars'll be glad to know it's a cute young mare." He snakes his way through the crowd to get a better look. It always pays for a bartender to stay on top of the local gossip, after all.

A large crowd of ponies has gathered, because there has been one big question on everyone's minds since Salty kicked it. … Well, two big questions. Who will succeed Salty, and will they /also/ be burning down the town? Please say no. Please no. The townsponies are all looking Lorelei up appraisingly, though perhaps their suspicion is hiked up a bit with Mad's presence there. She is, after all, a Known Quantity.

But alas, Lorelei's due attention falters, when a call from down the road rings out. "Make way! Make way from the great and beautiful, wonderful, all-around exotic, lovely Princess Shiroyuki-Hanako! Oh— pardon me, excuse me!" A tan unicorn stallion with long, flowing white locks practically proinks into view, flanks laden with buckets from which he flings tons and tons of flower petals. Cherry blossoms, to be specific. In fact, he makes double-sure that the path behind him is just crazy with 'em. "Behold! Your eyes rest upon royalty!"

Amidst the confusion of the crowd, a tall, lithe figure with a flowing white mane strides regally into the gathering. Her glittering wings spread wide, Princess Shiroyuki-Hanako holds her head high, drinking in the attention and awed gasps she garners. Her coat sparkles like her wings, white with a pale shimmering blue, and her translucent mane flows and twists like wind-blown snow.

She steps only on those flower petals, heading all the way up towards the side of the road, easily a whole head taller than the rest of the crowd. Looking up at Lorelei, she smiles patiently. She /will/ be greeted. /Everyone/ wants to greet a /Princess/.

What's this? What's this interruption to Maddie's carefully planned outing? To her grand unveiling of the brand-spanking-new key figurehead! Her poor, fragile little world is threatened to be rocked by the arrival of a much bigger 'player'! /Royalty/? /HERE/?

To the Mare's benefit, her first instinct isn't to panic. For whatever reason, this visit is a mere /coincidence/ and nothing more. It may, in fact, even be a great opportunity… She lifts a hoof to halt her entorage, nodding to those carrying Lorelei's platform around to set it down. Then she leaps up next to the newly appointed, perfectly normal, definitely not a seapony mayor, taking her 'rightful' place to Lorelei's side.

"Wasn't expecting this…" she murmurs to the not-seapony, "..but you best give her a proper greeting. Good impressions and all that."

Lorelei blinks. Royalty? Well this /was/ unexpected. She never would have thought! Who would guess, landponies have royalty? How strange! Especially /these/ landponies. Well one learns something new every day!

She glances over at Maddie, giving a small nod of acknowledgement before looking back at the waiting Alicorn and bowing her head. "Greetings, Most Generous… Princess." They'd said Princess, right? Well of course. There's only one Queen, after all. These ponies can't have a Queen. /Her/ people already have the best one.

Princess? What!? The bartender pony cranes his neck to try and catch sight of the loudly introduced alicorn, not that he really needs to because she is /so tall/. "Wait, wait, what was her name?" he asks some of the crowd. It was something foreign-sounding and far longer than a name really has any right to be. Like whats-her-face the pink princess' name.

"Might I present," the stallion claims, as he prostrates himself in the most flourished of bows before his princess, "the most honorable, the most lovely, the most fantastical wonderful, and yes, the most /generous/ of ponies, Princess Shiroyuki-Hanako! You may kiss her hooves." The colt turns blue eyes up to the princess, oh so ~adoringly~.

On cue, Princess Shiroyuki-Hanako extends a hoof towards the mayor. "Charmed," she says, and though her voice sounds timid and demure, her words carry easily to the ears of everyone present. There's a tinkling of bells somewhere in the background. "I have come to visit your peaceful town, for I have heard great things. What is this wonderfully amusing parade you have going on?" She smiles, head turning slowly, unhurriedly from side to side to scan the crowd.

Hoof-kissing? Maddie's left eye twitches. At least it's not exactly her job to do that. Poor Lorelei though… Unfortunately, as much as she would just adore staying in the background in the face of royalty, lest she say something she may regret in the presence of those who have the power to do something about it, she has an image to keep up.

Thus, the Harbor Watch Captain takes two steps forward, placing herself just ahead of the bowing Mayor, head dipped as far as she'll let herself to 'respect' the Princess. "It was a celebratory parade, Princess, to introduce our new Mayor to the townsfolk. We weren't…made aware that we were going to have royalty stop by today, or we would have had hospitalities already in place…"

Lorelei blinks and frowns faintly, hesitating a moment and twitching an ear before slowly leaning down to give the offered hoof a quick peck. Perhaps luckily, she has dealt with royalty before, but it somehow seems improper to do such things for royalty that is not /her/ Queen. But… appearances. She straightens again, letting Maddie speak and nodding appropriately, one eye on her as she was ready to follow her lead as needed.

Shiro… Shiroyuki… "Shoot, where's a piece of paper when you need it," the bartender murmurs as he glances around. "Mind if I borrow that?" he asks before grabbing a quill from a nearby pony and jotting the princess' name down on his foreleg. "Shiro'oogi-Anahgo," he recites through his teeth. "Aigh, 'hanghs." The quill is offered back.

The pony in question blinks as his quill is yoinked. "Hey! … Fiiiine." The testy pony frowns a little, eyeing as his precious penstrument is used on the bartender's foreleg. "Where do you think this princess is from?"

Emberlocks, meanwhile straightens up and stands proud, locks fluttering in the light breeze. His exceedingly stylish vest glitters with gold thread. "Oh, I do love a parade!" he enthuses.

Shiroyuki-Hanako smiles demurely, pleased at the greeting she's getting apparently. That foreleg comes up to her chest. "Yes! A parade is just the thing to raise the commoners' spirits. Good show, excellent! Now please, continue, I am so sorry to have interrupted your parade. I do so try to avoid attracting attention…" Mane-flick. "But you know how it can be." Sigh.

Looking between Mad-Mare and Lorelei, Shiroyuki smiles. "I do request an audience with the mayor later, however. A dinner, perhaps? To celebrate your coronation, and my arrival!"

The Mad Mare stops just short of grimacing at the very suggestion of an audience, let alone a full-out dinner. She passes it off as a wan smile instead, her head once again dipping ever so slightly in acknowledgement. "A dinner, perhaps. I will see to it that the Mayor's schedule is cleared to accommodate you, Princess."

That said, she hops off the platform and stomps a single hoof, prompting the poor workponies to hoist Lorelei's platform up onto their backs again. But, before she can assign them a new route to 'parade' down, she turns back towards the royal procession, speaking a suggestion, and inwardly hating every word that drops from her lips. "Would you like to join the parade, Princess? We only had one more street to go back to the Mayor's manor."

Lorelei blinks and tilts her head slightly. Dinner? That hadn't been planned. But she nods agreeably — as soon as Maddie agrees, that is. She moves back to her position on the platform, though at Maddie's words she looks back. The platform isn't exactly large. She's not entirely sure the ponies could carry both of them! She's a rather slim pony herself, after all.

"Dunno!" yellow pony says. "But if she doesn't say where she's from now, I bet I'll have a good idea by night's end." He tries to move a little closer to hear what Lorelei and Shiroyuki are talking about. Bits and pieces of conversation snake through the murmuring masses. This princess sounds… awfully full of herself! Inviting herself to the mayor's house for dinner? Sure, princesses CAN do that, but isn't she supposed to wait to be invited first?

"Oh dinner!" enthuses Emberlocks. "How rustic! I'm quite certain we'll be treated to the most…homey of victuals, your loveliness!" He beams, apparently excited about this. "That is, if I'm invited, miss." Which he asks of Shiro, and not… y'know. The inviting party.

Shiroyuki-Hanako smiles warmly down at Emberlocks, a small cloud of blue brushing his mane out of his eyes. "You're invited of course, my faithful servant. We've traveled far, haven't we? It's time for a rest."

At the mention of being in the parade, her face lights up, a gleeful child shining through the noble demureness. "Oh, but one does not want to intrude on your festivities." Miniscule pause for effect. "But if you insist!" THe Princess steps up beside the platform, eyeing the guards pointedly. She clears her throat loudly, which sounds like someone strumming along a harp.

Maddie sighs inwardly, smiles a thin, humorless smile outwardly, and clops the ground again. Several more of the guards, poor buggers, come to the aid of their bretheren to get the platform lowered down again, all of them ready to hoist it up once more after the Princess has had a chance to step up. If nothing else, this may add a little more…authority to the whole 'New Mayor' thing. Maybe ease some of that suspicion or something.

Yes… This could work out well after all.

Lorelei sidles to the side to make room for her, bowing her head again, if only slightly. Well… it's only one street. She admittedly spares a thought for the poor ponies that are going to have to have to carry them both — but not enough of one to consider getting off the platform herself. This is, after all, /her/ parade.

The bartender pony winces as more town guards rush up in preparation for having to carry the weight of a big ol' alicorn. If this was Celestia she'd do the nice thing and walk alongside instead… well, whatever, Celestia is boring most of the time. Aside from that cake thing a few months ago that was talked about halfway across the kingdom she doesn't do too much that's rumor-worthy. This Shiro-whatever pony is gonna be gossiptastic.

On the upside, Emberlocks wedges himself under the platform as well, all goo-eyed at the princess. Swoon! "Oh yes, your highness! A beautiful rest!" Beam, ahh, ooh!

The nearby ponies just stare, and Quilltip leans over and nudges Amber-Shot. "Ten bits she runs screaming out of the town by the end of the week."

"I dunno," Amber replies, "the new chief of police seems to be keeping a tight lid on things, we haven't had a single major fire since she took over. I give this princess two weeks."

Shiroyuki-Hanako is light as a feather, and no pony shall claim otherwise! The grunts of effort from the guards are certainly because they spent too long last night drinking, and are overly tired. The Princess frowns a bit, but puts a plastic smile right back on, waving cheerily to the crowd. Her wings spread regally, taking up a /little/ more than her fair share of room on the platform. "This just so /quaint/," she says brightly to the shorter mare beside her. "How many of these do you have a week? Half a dozen?"

With all the proper ponies back in place, Maddie steps back to the front of the parade line, shifting course to lead them back down the last town street. The pace is, of course, a touch slower with the extra weight and all, despite the added pony power to carry the royal weight.

"Make way, make way! Behold our new Mayor, and our visiting Princess Hanako! Make way!" the Mad Mare bellows, leading the parade along this final street. Whilst her internal voice plots ways to drive Princess Shoryuken out of town. A visit is great, but a stay longer than a week is going to prove difficult to hide her activities from.

Lorelei blinks and tilts an ear, trying to continue to look dignified beside a much more attention-grabbing presence. The question gives her pause for a moment. "Oh. Well. This… is my first. But I am newly appointed to the position," she adds quickly. Not defensively, of course! She'd just not had time yet to deal with parade schedules. If that was something one was supposed to deal with. It seemed like there was a lot else in this town that might need doing first. Hm.

"Oh, well, /certainly/ you'll have many many more of these," Shiroyuki says, still waving genially to the crowd, and even throwing a few kisses. "Don't worry, /I/ shall help you to become the bright and glowing center of attention that your quaint little town deserves. One needs to put on a good show for the peasants, after all. Smile, dear mayor, let them know you're happy to lord over them!"

Lorelei blinks and perks her ears a bit, nodding. …Center of attention, hm? Lord over them? Well… that might be a bit much… but… well, she didn't /mind/ the idea of being the center of attention. She /was/ in charge, after all! "Well… the town /could/ use some brightening," she agrees thoughtfully. Because of course it's the mayor's job to look out for the town's best interests and all that, isn't it? And she wants to be good at her job. Naturally.

"Naturally! And I can tell by looking at you that you're fit to rule. Now, smiiiiiile!" the Princess says in a sing-song voice, waving out to the adorable plebians.

The more the Princess talks, the grimmer Maddie's expression becomes. It really can't be helped, that sort of high and mighty attitude is the sort of thing that gets on anypony's nerves. But there could be benefits. Already the plans were perculating.

Lo and behold, the mayor's mansion looms! By the time they arrive, the poor guardsponies carrying the platform look ready to collapse, and the platform itself suffers wobbly moments! When Maddie signals them to set it down, it's probably faster and not as graceful as one might expect, and comes with a great flumping of many pony bodies out of the way, groans and all.

"Welcome to the Manor." the Mad Mare states to both Princess and Mayor, with a most grand gesture of a hoof to the likely less-than-impressive, but very new building. "I've dropped word for the workers inside to make accommodations. How long were you planning on visiting for..? Maybe we can arrange a sufficiently…fun schedule of events to celebrate. Or something."

Lorelei steps carefully off the platform, still wearing the smile she'd obediently put on, though it seems a bit more sincere now as she looks up at the Manor. It might be less-than-impressive, but it's /hers/, and she can't say that idea doesn't please her. She can make it homey and cozy, she's sure, given time!

Shiroyuki-Hanako staggers a little as the platform is lowered/dropped, and she sniffs briefly. She practically glides off the platform, turning to put her good side towards the crowd. "We have not yet decided how long we're staying," she says, looking up at the manor with a judgmental eye. "Hmmm, not the most elegant house we have stayed in, but it will do. We are sure you'll manage to entertain us quite nicely. Emberlocks!" She looks over to her colt-in-waiting. "Go and prepare our bed for after dinner. We are getting tired."

Emberlocks, who is sufficiently winded after all that Hard Work, scrambles up to his hooves and steps smart. "Yes, your highness! Your wonderfulness! Your most effervescentness!" he gushes, and off he runs toward the house, without … permission.

By this time, Maddie's been joined by two of her three lieutenants, Rock'em and Sock'em, which the Mare gives a nudge to trot towards the Manor. Assumedly to keep Emberlocks from accidentally straying into places he shouldn't, and to 'help' with the accommodations and whatnot. Then she tosses her mane, trotting up and dipping into a low bow before royalty and Mayorship alike. "I believe I've dropped enough hints to handle tonight's arrangements. I've assigned two guards to tend to your needs, so feel free to ask them for whatever. If we can provide, we will. If we can't, surely you'll understand that we are a rather humble Harbor without many of the comforts of more upscale lands."

Straightening herself right back up again, the Mad Mare flashes her fakest 'charm' grin. "Long as you're 'roughing it' with us, Highness, I do hope your stay here manages to live up to your expectations. I'm sure you and Mayor Lorelei will have many interesting things to discuss. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some duties to attend to." With that, she practically prances off in the direction of the city streets. No retreat could be fast enough to escape prissy ponies.